Some Officials Question Aviation Training Center

By: AP
By: AP
A couple of Sedgwick County commissioners are wondering if there

*** FILE *** An American Airlines MD-80 aircraft taxis by a runway as another takes off from DFW International Airport, Thursday, May 19, 2005, in Grapevine, Texas. American Airlines on Saturday April 12, 2008 received clearance from federal aviation officials to return all of its 300 grounded jets to service, an airline spokesman said. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, FILE)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A couple of Sedgwick County commissioners are wondering if there's still a need to build a $54 million aviation training center at a time when so many workers in the industry are being laid off.

Commissioner Gwen Welshimer questions if students will enroll and if they'll get jobs after they graduate. She said the project, largely funded by Sedgwick County, might need to be broadened to include other areas, such as health care.

Commissioner Kelly Parks wants information on where costs could be trimmed.

But aviation leaders and another commissioner say they are building for the future, not the present.

Pete Gustaf, president of Wichita Area Technical College, says the industry is in much better shape than after Sept. 11, 2001.

Commissioner Dave Unruh says demand for training will increase, despite the slowing economy.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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